Cleveland Indians: Five Myths Debunked in 2016

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Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana (41) celebrates after making the final catch to beat the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana (41) celebrates after making the final catch to beat the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana (41) celebrates after making the final catch to beat the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana (41) celebrates after making the final catch to beat the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

Making a late run down the stretch at the end of the 2015 season, expectations were high for the Cleveland Indians coming into the 2016 season.

With the emergence of shortstop Francisco Lindor and the genesis of one of baseball’s best starting rotations, many analysts expected the Cleveland Indians to make a run at the playoffs; some even picked them to win the American League pennant.

With the collection of low-profile pickups the Indians’ front office made over the offseason (Mike Napoli, Rajai Davis, Marlon Byrd, Dan Otero, and later Juan Uribe), doubts were raised on whether or not the Indians had enough pieces to truly compete in the American League Central, especially since the division had won the last two AL pennants thanks to the Kansas City Royals.

After the month of April, those doubts were still present, as the team sat at just 10-11. However, as the season progressed, the Tribe picked things up and in early June, took over first place for good. A franchise-record 14-game winning streak soon followed, and it became evident that Cleveland was the team to beat in the Central.

By the All-Star break, the Indians were 52-36 and owned a 6.5-game lead in the division. In the second half, they continued to win at a .575 clip and made a blockbuster trade deadline move en route to the club’s first AL Central title since 2007.

Many false assumptions were made about the Tribe before and during the early parts of the 2016 season. As you are about to see, many of those were proven wrong.

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